Before [Joseph Lister]'s time, surgical procedures were often a deadly affair. In 1860s Britain, almost half of all patients undergoing major surgery died in the days that followed. Wound infections and gangrene were blamed on "bad air." It was French chemist and bacteriologist Louis Pasteur who first recognized the significance of air-borne organisms in the spoilage of products such as milk or wine and in certain human diseases. Lister took Pasteur's theories a step further, by surmising that those same organisms, if given access to a person's body via a surgical wound, would end up infecting it.News of Lister's work spread quickly, although many surgeons were slow to accept his ideas. Not so Brockville-born Dr. Archibald Edward Malloch, who studied and worked with Lister in Scotland in the late 1860s. Upon returning to Hamilton, Malloch became the first surgeon in North America to openly embrace his techniques. On the other side of the continent, [John Chapman Davie Jr.], who followed Lister's teachings while on sabbatical in Europe, was an equally fervent follower.The Victoria Medical Heritage Society, a charitable arm of the Victoria Medical Society, was formed in 2004 to provide for the Pemberton Memorial Operating Room's restoration and rehabilitation. Thus far, it has received generous support from Victoria's medical community, the Heritage Legacy Fund of British Columbia's Conservation Program, and the Victoria Foundation. The first phase of the project, restoration of the roof, began last fall.